evac·​u·​ate | \i-ˈva-kyə-ˌwāt, -kyü-ˌāt\
evacuated; evacuating

Definition of evacuate 

transitive verb

1 : to remove the contents of : empty

2 : to discharge from the body as waste : void

3 : to remove something (such as gas or water) from especially by pumping

4a : to remove especially from a military zone or dangerous area

b : to withdraw from military occupation of

c : vacate sense 1 were ordered to evacuate the building

intransitive verb

1 : to withdraw from a place in an organized way especially for protection

2 : to pass urine or feces from the body

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Other Words from evacuate

evacuative \i-​ˈva-​kyə-​ˌwā-​tiv, -​kyü-​ˌā-​ \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for evacuate


clear, empty, vacate, void


fill, load

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Examples of evacuate in a Sentence

People who live along the coast are being evacuated as the hurricane approaches. During World War II, children were evacuated from London to the country. Residents were ordered to evacuate the building. Residents have been ordered to evacuate.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Around Butte County, upward of 52,000 people have been forced to evacuate due to the Camp Fire. Umair Irfan, Vox, "The Paradise fire is catastrophic. And the wildfire threat to California is only growing.," 17 Nov. 2018 Per Variety, the pictures in question were taken in Gaga’s home in Malibu, just a week before she was forced to evacuate due to the recent California wildfires. Sara Delgado, Teen Vogue, "Lady Gaga Continues Ariana Grande's "Stool Challenge" In New Photos," 14 Nov. 2018 But firefighters have gotten the upper hand on the fires, and residents who were forced to evacuate have been allowed to return home. Andrea Castillo, latimes.com, "'I have happy tears,' Goleta resident says after finding his home survived destructive wildfire," 9 July 2018 Wildfires are tearing across California, Colorado, New Mexico and other Western states this week, chewing up bone-dry mountainsides, scorching buildings and forcing hundreds of people to evacuate from their homes. New York Times, "‘The New Normal’: Wildfires Roar Across the West, Again," 2 July 2018 Photo: jonathan bachman/Reuters The storm halted about 9% of offshore oil production in the Gulf of Mexico as workers on platforms were forced to evacuate for safety reasons, said the government’s Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement. Christopher Alessi, WSJ, "Oil Gains as Tropical Storm Churns in Gulf," 4 Sep. 2018 With Hitler’s invading armies poised to overrun Moscow, Soviet leader (and erstwhile bank robber) Joseph Stalin ordered key personnel to evacuate the capital. Tim Folger, Discover Magazine, "Chance Encounters," 17 Aug. 2018 Thousands of local residents have been forced to evacuate their homes. Megan Friedman, Popular Mechanics, "The Kilauea Volcano Created a Tiny New ‘Island’ Off the Coast of Hawaii," 16 July 2018 Bruno Mars was forced to evacuate the stage and put his concert on pause during a Tuesday night (July 10) show in Glasgow after a small fire broke out. Sam Tornow, Billboard, "Bruno Mars Forced to Temporarily Leave Stage After Fire Breaks Out During Glasgow Show," 11 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'evacuate.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of evacuate

15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for evacuate

Middle English, to draw off morbid humors, from Latin evacuatus, past participle of evacuare to empty, from e- + vacuus empty

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Dictionary Entries near evacuate






evacuation hospital


Statistics for evacuate

Last Updated

2 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for evacuate

The first known use of evacuate was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for evacuate



English Language Learners Definition of evacuate

: to remove (someone) from a dangerous place

: to leave (a dangerous place)

medical : to pass (solid waste) from your body


evac·​u·​ate | \i-ˈva-kyə-ˌwāt \
evacuated; evacuating

Kids Definition of evacuate

1 : to leave or cause to leave a place of danger Residents evacuated the burning building.

2 : to make empty : empty out

3 : to discharge waste matter from the body


evac·​u·​ate | \i-ˈvak-yə-ˌwāt \
evacuated; evacuating

Medical Definition of evacuate 

transitive verb

1 : to remove the contents of evacuate an abscess

2 : to discharge (as urine or feces) from the body as waste : void

intransitive verb

: to pass urine or feces from the body

Other Words from evacuate

evacuative \-​ˌwāt-​iv \ adjective

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More from Merriam-Webster on evacuate

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with evacuate

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for evacuate

Spanish Central: Translation of evacuate

Nglish: Translation of evacuate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of evacuate for Arabic Speakers

Comments on evacuate

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living or existing for a long time

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